How the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Continued His War against the Jews after 1948

Appointed by the British in 1921 to the newly created position of grand mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini emerged in the following years as the leader of the Palestinian national movement, and strongly opposed any compromise with Zionism or the Zionists. He encouraged the anti-Jewish riots and massacres of the 1930s, and, as is well known, met with Hitler and collaborated with the Nazis during World War II. After the 1948 war, it was long assumed, he faded from prominence, but recently declassified CIA documents suggest otherwise. Sean Durns writes:

In October 1951, U.S. intelligence warned of a “possible terrorist campaign” by Husseini, “who has the combined forces of the [Muslim] Brotherhood and his own terrorist organization” targeting British nationals in four Arab countries, as well as the “property and personnel of the trans-Arabian pipeline.” The mufti enjoyed close relations with the Brotherhood, which used his “spacious home in Jerusalem” for their “Palestine headquarters.”

U.S. intelligence managed to capture correspondence showing that the mufti was regularly briefed on terrorist activities, and had operatives traversing the Middle East. As late as 1962, he was still plotting to assassinate opponents. And, as late as 1965, the CIA was warning that Husseini “has instructed key followers” in Jordan to “reactivate” old units for attacks against Israel. The agency noted that the mufti was even purchasing “arms and ammunition” that were “remnants of the 1948” conflict.

By 1967, Husseini had reached a détente with King Hussein’s Jordan, which even allowed him to visit Jerusalem shortly before the Six-Day War, hoping that the mufti would help counter Egypt’s President Gamal Abdel Nasser and the then-Egyptian-controlled Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Amazingly enough, the mufti even fed intelligence to Hussein—the man whose grandfather he had had murdered—about Yasir Arafat, a distant cousin of Husseini, whom he formally anointed as his successor following a December 29, 1968 meeting near Beirut.

By the time of his death in Beirut on July 4, 1974, the mufti’s legacy was secure. Arafat would similarly play Arab regimes against each other and make war on the Jewish state. A mosque financed by Husseini and German ex-Nazis has, in recent years, been linked to Islamist terror groups like al-Qaeda. And much of the rhetoric employed by Husseini—such as comparing Zionists to Nazis—remains common today.

Read more at JNS

More about: Amin Haj al-Husseini, Jordan, Muslim Brotherhood, Nazi Germany, Palestinians, Yasir Arafat

An American Withdrawal from Iraq Would Hand Another Victory to Iran

Since October 7, the powerful network of Iran-backed militias in Iraq have carried out 120 attacks on U.S. forces stationed in the country. In the previous year, there were dozens of such attacks. The recent escalation has led some in the U.S. to press for the withdrawal of these forces, whose stated purpose in the country is to stamp out the remnants of Islamic State and to prevent the group’s resurgence. William Roberts explains why doing so would be a mistake:

American withdrawal from Iraq would cement Iran’s influence and jeopardize our substantial investment into the stabilization of Iraq and the wider region, threatening U.S. national security. Critics of the U.S. military presence argue that [it] risks a regional escalation in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Iran. However, in the long term, the U.S. military has provided critical assistance to Iraq’s security forces while preventing the escalation of other regional conflicts, such as clashes between Turkey and Kurdish groups in northern Iraq and Syria.

Ultimately, the only path forward to preserve a democratic, pluralistic, and sovereign Iraq is through engagement with the international community, especially the United States. Resisting Iran’s takeover will require the U.S. to draw international attention to the democratic backsliding in the country and to be present and engage continuously with Iraqi civil society in military and non-military matters. Surrendering Iraq to Iran’s agents would not only squander our substantial investment in Iraq’s stability; it would greatly increase Iran’s capability to threaten American interests in the Levant through its influence in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.

Read more at Providence

More about: Iran, Iraq, U.S. Foreign policy